Monday 15 October 2012


 The theme of childhood keeps me in its thrall. As I write, I am in the hands of carers. Well, not exactly as I write.  The current good lady is in another room. In principal, however, I am in their hands. It seems that overnight I went from a pretty competent, early old aged woman of some sparkle to a cliched geriatric. In order that (subjunctive to follow) the picture may come more easily to your inner eye, there are certain items of underwear I can't put on by myself. Which? You do know. Why not? Well, I can't bend sufficiently well to bring foot to opening, so to speak. Of course, you are right, I could sit down to do it but I am stubbornly trying to change as little as possible and I never did sit down to put this item on. The bra is different. I simply can't manoeuvre to fasten it so it has to be done up from the  front and then dragged round to the back. Or, worse, the carer does it up for me. Of all the good, kind and sensitive experiences I have undergone, though, I am left, as an abiding impression, with what it feels like to have your knickers and/or tights, yanked up from the waist band. You must remember dressing your little ones: pull the vest down, pull the pants up and a little pat to show it was all over. Quite: I'm glad you would find it infantilising and humiliating, too. I have to say I had a little hissy fit and, before good manners could prevail, snapped "Don't do that, if you please". I have, though, made one effort at solo outing. Yesterday I took a taxi - I know, but I couldnt have done it otherwise - to have lunch with the Guru and his loved one. He drove me home but the loved one, trapped in the back of a two-door, had to push him out of the car in order to help me out. I must be making progress. He has stopped treating me delicately.

As for hissy fits, the Cat - than whom no-one is more important - persistently hisses at one of these carers. Actually, the one of the waist-band yank. Goodness knows how she knows, but she does and is not shy to hiss and tooth-bare when this person comes in to the same room as her/us. What resources would a human little one have against this assault on the ego? Well, tantrums should do it. (Is that the plural? Should it be tantra? But then, should it be mantrum?) Anyway, my predicament has set me thinking about the minefield of actual littlehood and the awfulness of dependence on those who may not have the skills to recognise the potential for hell-on-earth that nestles is the so-called idyll of childhood. The revolution - I was looking for a word to convey more of a revolving, in the sense of coming full-circle - carries so many identical dilemmas that it surprises me I have  any adult recall left at all. Fortunately, I can now manage food so that it doesnt have to be cut up. I am steadier on my feet so the carer has to be near but not attached to me. Along with the pint sizes, I cross the road to the pond, nearby, and watch the ducks. I stopped carer number one from bringing and throwing stale bread because the siamese twin thing would have been  seriously impossible to tolerate. I am not vying for a space nearest to the edge of the water just so it's MY bread the ducks will eat, nor am I going to kick and scream when it is time to go home - at least, not aloud. So where have three score and more than ten years gone? It seems one returns to pass 'GO' without necessarily collecting £200. So there is nowhere else to go but back round. However, on the way one may have bought property, gone to jail, had children, had a job and generally impinged on the lives of others. Throw all you like, my little ones, but remember you have a whole board to play before you can come round for the second time. Prynhawn da.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for another beautiful new post clothed in wisdom, humour, honesty and poetry

Liz said...

Thank all of you who leave such generous comments on my personal email. Is it ok if I occasionally transpose them to the post, itself?